Home‎ > ‎Members Notices‎ > ‎

Rehearsal Music

Music files that can be played on the computer for rehearsing are available. They can be played directly or downloaded

Using the Computer to Rehearse

What is Midi

Most Personal Computers can synthesise various instruments and play music. The synthesiser uses a language called “Midi” (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to store music as it is written. Music stored in this form takes a minute fraction of the computer space that a CD or MP3 recording takes. Midi cannot reproduce the human voice pronouncing words but it can play the vocal lines with distinctive instruments or a choral “aah”. Some programs display Midi files as sheet music, scroll the music on the screen as it is being played and allow you to select specific bars.

Finding Midi Music

Click on the link at the top of this page to get rehearsal music for the next concert.

For other choral pieces the most comprehensive sites are CyberbassThe Silvis Woodshed  and The Choral Public Domain Library. These give you an index to all the composers’ works available at that site. These tend to contain only the choral sections, often the accompaniment is only included for bars when there is no choral singing (for copyright reasons).

Cyberbass

Midi files on the Cyberbass web site can only be played using the Cyberbass player while you are online. The Cyberbass player lets you specify the play speed and you can drag the "Seek" button to the left to replay or to the right to skip portions.

Downloading Midi Music

If you have a broad band connection you can play midi files directly from your browser simply by clicking on the underlined name of the piece otherwise download the music as described below so that you can play it later.

When using a PC if you click on a piece and it is not automatically played by Windows Media Player and you want to slow it down for rehearsing then you will need to download the piece for playing later. To download the file right click on the section you want. This displays a menu, select “Save target as” or "Save link as" then select the folder to store it in (this is not available for files on Cyberbass) –

  • If the file name ends “.mid” then save it to "Music" (Windows Vista) or "My music" (Windows XP) in "My Documents" so that you can find it easily later.
  • If the file name ends “.zip” it is a compressed file
    - if you are using Windows 7 or Vista then choose to save it to "Music"

On a Macintosh just download the file by a long click on the link. The file is available in the "download folder" you defined in your browser's setup. If the file doesn't have the .mid extension but for example the .zip, .hqx,.sit extension, drag it on the StuffIt Icon to decode it.

Playing Midi Music with Windows Media Player

The Windows Media Player (free in Windows 7 and Vista but not with Windows 8) allows you to play, pause and resume by clicking on the play button. You can drag the moving button on the Seek Bar backwards or forwards to different parts of the piece.

To use the Windows Media Player for midi files saved on your computer

  • in Windows 7 and Vista click on Start, type "media player". A list of programs will be displayed, click on "Windows Media Player"
  • click on "File", "Open" and locate the file you want in your “Music” folder
  • to slow down the music right click on the screen while it is playing. This displays a menu, select "Enhancements" and "Play speed setting" and then drag the pointer to the speed you want

Playing Music with Myriad Melody Player

This is a free program that scrolls the sheet music as it plays and allows to turn off selected voice, vary the speed, add a metronome and transpose to baroque pitch.

·         If you don’t already have “Melody Player” installed (this is not the Choralia plug-in)

o   click on http://www.myriad-online.com/en/products/melodyplayer.htm and click on the operating system on your computer to start the download

o   install the program accepting all the default options

·         go to the choir “rehearsal music” page
http://www.w-ecs.org.uk/home/members-notice-board/rehearsal-music

·         click on the link for the work

·         right click on the voice part you want – this displays a small menu, left click on “Save link as”, identify the folder on your computer you want it saved in and press enter

·         when you have saved all the sections open Melody Player

·         Click on  at the bottom of the panel and select the folder where you saved the voice parts. Click on each one in turn to add it to the left half of the panel.

·         Click on the chorus file name in the left half of the panel to select it

·         Click on  to display a “Mixer desk” – this allows you to turn off individual voices by clicking on the speaker symbol to change their volume by dragging the small triangle under each voice (click on OK when you are happy with your changes

·         Click on  to start playing;  to pause;  to stop;  to turn on/off the metronome

·         Click on , remember the number shown and then drag to the left to slow the music down

·         To close the program click on the small white square to the right of “Melody Player 6.3.2e”

·         There is a small blue triangle  below all the above symbols that moves from left to right as the piece plays. Hover the mouse pointer to see the bar being played. To move to a different bar number click and drag the triangle to the required bar number

Playing Midi Music with Melody Assistant

There are programs that display the musical notation while playing it. The best for its price is Melody Assistant available as shareware from http://www.myriad-online.com/melody.htm it is free to try and costs €30 if you decide to keep it. This also allows you to

  • Select a number of bars to play repeatedly
  • Select the bar to start from
  • Use a metronome
  • Vary the playing speed to practice the tricky bits
  • Emphasise your vocal register by reducing the volume for the other registers
  • Play an individual note to check the pitch
  • Change the instrument used to play a vocal register
  • Change individual notes
  • Transpose selected notes or the entire piece

For detailed instructions for this program see “Using Melody Assistant To Rehearse Choral Music”.

Subpages (1): Music